1925: Abortion kills teen: Very little is on record about the death of 17-year-old Gertrude Wynants. According to the New York Times, Gertrude died on July 19, 1925, of a criminal abortion. Mrs. Margaret Shott Higgens, age 23, was indicted for manslaughter in Gertrude's death.
1970: Abortion death sparks outrage, calls for complacency: Carmen Rodriguez was 31 years old when she died from complications of a 14-week saline abortion at Lincoln Hospital in New York City. After Carmen's death, a militant Puerto Rican group, The Young Lords, swung into action. They pointed out that doctors at Lincoln Hospital knew that Carmen had heart problems and failed to take proper precautions. Merle Goldman, spokeswoman of an abortion advocacy organization, said she hoped that Carmen's death wouldn't deter other women from undergoing abortions. She touted abortion's reputed safety and stressed that her group was lobbying against proposed health department regulation of abortion practice. New York City Chief Medical Examiner Milton Helpern, on the other hand, expressed concern that ill-equipped and poorly-staffed freestanding abortion facilities were posing a danger to women.
Anniversary of another pre-Roe abortion death: Betty Hines was 21 years old when she was checked into Doctors Hospital in California for a safe, legal abortion, to be performed by Dr. A. Mitchell on July 19, 1971. Betty went into cardio-respiratory arrest and died. After an investigation, Betty's death was attributed to massive intravascular sickling due to underlying sickle cell disorder.
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